It may be a hard heart that loveth naught in May but it’s a dead plant that flourisheth not in June.

Yes it’s jungle time now, like up in the sky where the trees are all growing together, and their shade is so helpful with the little climate problem we have which shall remain nameless but tends toward too hot.

tree canopy

Now I might have mentioned, in some distant dusty cobwebby old post, (ok yes I did), something about how much I cherish the native Oregon shrub called, among other things, Oceanspray— or Holodiscus discolor if you prefer to be all science about it. Anyway it’s in bloom now.

Here is an image of the delicate beaded sprays of buds which dance from this large, fountain-shaped native shrub. (More information can be read at the website of the wonderful Portland Nursery.)

Holodiscus flower bud

The blooms open up to frothy foam, and sometimes they splash against “Jude the Obscure” roses in a vase.

Holodiscus and Jude the Obscure roses

[Now I shall deftly divert the discussion to garden lights. Watch this.]

And next is an image of the Oceanspray blooms in the night, romantically illuminated by the adorable string of LED lights which casually sparkle among the rampant grape vines of the long arbor.

night lights in the garden

There are three stings of indoor/outdoor lights here, the same ones I use on the Christmas tree. LED’s are improved and are extremely bright these days, so in winter when the Christmas tree is alight in the parlor I need to hand out sunglasses… but the lights are perfect in the garden in the dark.

LED string lights in the garden.

The ones I have must be plugged into an electricity source. My experience a few years ago with solar garden lights went well for a couple of seasons then all perished and it wasn’t possible to replace the rechargeable batteries. I was warned, but still I hate that.

LED strings in the garden

I use a timer that turns on at dusk for a few hours.

It’s fun to wander around outside by the sparkly light, and very fun for parties. But mostly they are fun to photograph.

LED lights outside summer

Sometimes I do go outside in the daylight:

Peruvian lilies

Here are the Peruvian lilies, who received the Nonstop Bloom award just this week. Now I know some gardens get invaded with these lilies but at my house they die in winter unless you dig them up and give them a warm plant-hotel in which to lounge. My friend the Plant Goddess did that and shared the extras that grew. Thank you Plant Goddess.

Jackmanii clematis

Previously the Nonstop Bloom award went to the Jackmanii clematis, and really he could have kept it a little longer.

I will close with the ever-popular view of the laundry drying in the sun. (Allow me my delusions.) The retractable clothesline spent the winter outside and still works great. It wishes you a happy June.

fabulous retractable clothesline


About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
This entry was posted in actual plants, Clematis, Pacific Northwest native plants, stuff for your garden that isn't plants and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to June-ness

  1. susan troccolo says:

    I always look forward to your posts! (It is a dream of mine that people will say the same about mine, but people keep dying on me and so I’ve been a bit gloomy of late.) But, ah June. I’m tired of watering too, it makes me more than a little freaked out. Yet the garden carries on and looks great. Your lights are wonderful! I had the same experience with wanting LEDs that didn’t require electricity. Clearly the technology is not there yet. (We can send a man to the moon…..) For parties, I give everybody glow sticks! Your Jackmanii really does win the award. Do you find it needs to be protected from hot sun in the afternoon? I keep mine protected, but they aren’t as happy as yours. Linnie, on another subject, I have an eBook! And I was wondering if you’d consider being a reviewer on Amazon. My email is susie@troccolo.com if you want a free advance copy….Cheers to your lights!

    • linniew says:

      Oh I’m sorry about the people dying. I had a year like that recently and it’s hard. Glow sticks are pretty brilliant and must be fun although I expect you get a bit of Jedi Knight choreography sometimes. The Jackmanii doesn’t get the hottest late afternoon sun. Also its roots are shaded and I keep it watered.

      I would love to read/review your book Susan! Thank you, and congratulations! I’ll email…

      • Bill Hoffman says:

        I’ve never really been a blog reader, but I’ve been reading your old blogs for over an hour and laughing out loud. Why did you stop writing them? I’m especially curious to know, what is your manuscript about?

        I’ve also never posted a comment on a blog before. I couldn’t really figure out how to do it, except to “reply” to something you wrote to someone else (a long time ago, from the looks of it). I don’t know if you’ll see this or not, but I’d love to know more about how your writing career is going.

        • linniew says:

          Hi Bill
          Wordpress dutifully sends notice of new comments — I thank you for your kind words! Regarding manuscripts, you are probably referring to the one about gardening– a completely irreverent treatment of the subject as you might guess. It waits.

          Interestingly I have a sense of Gardening Renewal this very winter– I have ordered seeds and even an elusive Dianthus– so perhaps I shall yet again write about green things. I once considered, and even began, issuing the garden book as a new blog, a series of chapters as posts, but then hesitated. Book? Blog?….

          Are you a gardener? I hope so. -L

  2. Everything is beautiful and the night-lighting is delightful (no pun intended… really! hmm, well, perhaps a little bit… 😉 ). I’m surprised Holodiscus isn’t well known in northeast coastal areas (say, Cape Cod to Virginia); is it unhappy outside of the west coast?

    • linniew says:

      Hmm well I don’t know about the east coast issues for that plant. I heard once that it ONLY grew on the Oregon coast but the Portland Nursery site says it’s all over Oregon, including the chilly high desert counties. So maybe it will grow in the east. I know a gardener in Italy who would like to grow it too.

  3. kininvie says:

    I’m certain I commented on a previous photograph of your laundry, so I shall refrain this time. Though I must say, it’s an unusual sight on a blog…

    • linniew says:

      I try to miss no opportunity to make my blog distinctive. And I know you agree that white linens adrift in the sun and summer breeze are classic—even mentioned by Carl Jung as an important universal archetype. Then there is also that famous laundry quote from Not Just a Gardener (Geraldine Toughsteel, 1938) “The true gardener clips, both the blooms and the clothespins.”

  4. There is nothing sweeter than climbing into bed and breathing in the fragrance of line-dried sheets. Your evening photos are really nice. Last weekend Albany had its annual garden tour. At one garden a clothes line was bedecked with vintage children’s clothes. It was adorable but the bright sunshine ruined my photos.

    I have a string of solar lights that still shine, despite being severed in half and capped off with little colored things by an electrical-savvy hubby. It’s such a crap shoot with those things. You never know if they’ll work and if they do, for how long? Ditto with used pond pumps but I won’t bore you with all of that.

    My Alstroemeria look similar to yours and are very hardy. Maybe yours will be smart and put down (non-aggressive) roots and get the award every year.

    I’ve never grown Holodiscus but it’s lovely. I agree, the garden is all jungley right now. I love it but I also want to restore order. What to do….

    I hope this little climate problem isn’t causing you or your garden too much consternation. Take care my friend.

    • linniew says:

      Good job keeping those solar lights going. I do like things that don’t need cords and power. Maybe my lilies will survive this winter, stay tuned. It’s definitely garden-tour time. I’m sure your garden should be part of a tour Gracie, it’s always so vivacious and lovely.

  5. My only exposure to anything dried on a line is stiff, scratchy towels that functioned as exfoliators. But I do love my dryer! So oceanspray is more than a juice company? The flowers are lovely. If I had a grape vine covered arbor with little lights in it, I’d never come in.

    • linniew says:

      Hey Tammy! Never dry towels that way, uh-uh. The towels go in the dryer. Mostly I dry the bed linens, which then smell all outdoorsy and fresh. Or maybe it’s because they look like ship sails and remind me of my former life as a pirate. Anyway it’s nice. As to the lights, when they’re on at night we do find it’s possible to spend a lot of time in the lawn swing, just looking around and enjoying the sun being gone.

  6. Kate says:

    Hi Linnie!
    It must be super hot up there if you’re out doing your garden photography at night and spending your days looking up through the canopy of leaves enjoying the shade. A happy June to you too! I enjoyed reading about your trip to Alaska. I’m so glad you got in a good trip this year. We did too, but we went the other direction down to Mexico. How grand to be the queen mum of La Jolla.

  7. Stephanie Engell says:

    How well did the ocean spray hold up in the vase? I’m thinking of using it in a wedding arbor; but I’m wondering if it will wilt in the heat? It looks beautiful with the roses!

    • linniew says:

      Hi Stephanie
      We used unopened Ocean Spray blooms in a wedding rehearsal dinner bouquet years ago. They weren’t out in the heat though. I really don’t know how well they would do. If you can, in an arbor, have them in water, then maybe so.

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